The Wall Street Journal reports Google found a "software glitch" in its Google+ social network that may have exposed user profile data between 2015 and March 2018. Google "opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage, according to people briefed on the incident and documents reviewed" by the Journal. "Internal lawyers advised that Google wasn't legally required to disclose the incident to the public," according to the report, because it "didn't know what developers may have what data" and that it "didn't believe notifying users would give any actionable benefit to the end users." As a result, Google is officially shuttering the consumer version of Google+, conducting a broader review of its privacy practices, and "curtailing the access it gives outside developers to user data on Android smartphones and Gmail," the report states. In a blog post, Google details Project Strobe, an effort that includes more than 100 staff members to review third-party access to Google account and Android device data. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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